Keene & Associates Insurance Agency named 2018 Halloween Decorating Contest Winner

2018 Halloween Decorating Contest Winners

Congratulations to Keene & Associates Insurance Agency for winning the 2018 Halloween Decorating Contest.  They received a trophy and half off chamber membership up to $150.  The staff was very excited about the win and indicated “that everyone who participated did an outstanding job and are grateful to live in a town with such a fun sense of community.”

Part of the mission of the Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce is to provide opportunities for our members to connect with our community. Building a strong community is vital to the growth of businesses.  Every year hundreds of “trick or treaters” celebrate in Four Oaks.  We thought it would be fun for members to get into the spirit and decorate.  We achieved our goals and made Four Oaks Boo-tiful!

Many community members complimented the decorations and really enjoyed the creativity of all the participants.  Participants included, Four Oaks Town Hall, Ogi Designs, Darlene’s Cone Cave, Johnston Now, Tired Iron Classics, Sloan Communications and Keene & Associates Insurance Agency.  Thank you to the Judges, Theron Kammerer, Scentsy Independent Consultant and Bette Carpenter of Four Oaks Interiors.  Everyone looks forward to next year!


Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce Recognizes November Teachers Lead Recipient

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce and HomeTowne Realty are celebrating Mrs. Megan Lee Teachers Lead Four Oaks, Teacher of the Month recipient. Mrs. Lee was presented with a certificate of recognition as well as a bag of gifts from many of the Chamber member businesses including HomeTowne Realty.  The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce is honored to recognize the lasting contributions made to the Four Oaks community by our teachers.  South Johnston High School shared as part of this nomination,

Robert John Meehan once wrote, “Every Child has a different learning style and pace.  Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.” Megan Lee teaches her students to be successful in their very own learning style.  She always has a smile on her face and encourages her students to do their very best and to never give up.   The love she has for her students is evident in her every day teaching where she focuses on each individual child.  She is a mentor to not only her students, but also the faculty at South Johnston High School. Mrs. Lee has enabled her kids to have a voice and to be a part of the entire student body at South Johnston.

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce and HomeTowne Realty have partnered to present Teachers Lead Four Oaks, a monthly recognition for Four Oaks teachers.  Four Oaks teachers are a vital part of developing and leading our future workforce and future community leaders. The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce recognizes teachers who motivate and inspire their students through their teaching practices and their commitment to the community

Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce Recognizes October Teachers Lead Recipient

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce and HomeTowne Realty are celebrating Ms. Lindsey Dotzel Teachers Lead Four Oaks, Teacher of the Month recipient. Ms. Dotzel was presented with a certificate of recognition as well as a bag of gifts from many of the Chamber member businesses including HomeTowne Realty.  The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce is honored to recognize the lasting contributions made to the Four Oaks community by our teachers.  South Johnston High School shared as part of this nomination,

“Lindsey Dotzel is that great teacher.  She has a gift to motivate and inspire students to want to read and learn more.  She transforms her classroom into a unique flexible learning environment by allowing her students to take ownership in what they read and how they learn.  Ms. Dotzel is one of those teachers you come across once in a great while.  She is popular with students, family and community.  Her students love her drive, enthusiasm and compassion.  Ms. Dotzel works to find each individual student’s unique learning style and what motivates them.  I am truly inspired by her vision and what she seeks for her students in and out of the classroom.”

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce and HomeTowne Realty have partnered to present Teachers Lead Four Oaks, a monthly recognition for Four Oaks teachers.  Four Oaks teachers are a vital part of developing and leading our future workforce and future community leaders. The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce recognizes teachers who motivate and inspire their students through their teaching practices and their commitment to the community.

Seeking Applicants

The Four Oaks Chamber is so excited about the exceptional growth this year and the continued success of our community events and programs.  We are reaching out to our membership to gather names of interested members who would like to join the Chamber Board of Directors for 2019.  A Board Member must be available to meet monthly, and regularly volunteer his/her time at events and programs.  The term is 3 years. Please email Joan Pritchett at [email protected]  and submit your name for consideration.

In addition, we will be accepting applications for the Four Oaks Chamber Ambassador Program.  The mission of this program is to secure Chamber Ambassadors who are dedicated to growing and promoting the chamber and our local businesses through community involvement, promotion, and education.  Being an Ambassador is one of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to increase visibility for you and your business through the relationships you will build with other members and through the recognition given to Ambassadors through out the year.  Please note that an Ambassador can be any employee in a member organization.  For full details of the program visit the Chamber Website at . To submit your application for Ambassador please complete the form:

2018 Halloween Decorating Contest

Halloween Decorating Contest

  1. Participation is open to all Four Oaks Businesses.
  2. Entry is free, no cost or fees apply.
  3. Participation forms must be received no later than Friday, October 26, 2018.
  4. Contest is for exterior decorations only, including in windows that are visible from the exterior. Judging will be done from the outside only.
  5. Businesses that wish to participate that do not have a store front may do so by submitting a photo of their decorations to the Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce by Friday, October 26, 2018.
  6. Judging criteria will include, (a)unique design and creative use of decorations; (b) story-line or theme; (c)overall presentation.
  7. Judging will be done on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 from 9am-12pm, depending on the number of entries that time may decrease or increase as needed.
  8. Participants do not need to be present but must ensure that all decorations are in place for judging.
  9. Winner will receive a trophy and half off chamber membership up to $150.
  10. Winner will be notified by the Four Oaks Chamber Director.
  11. Be creative, have fun and let’s make Four Oaks Boo-tiful!

Hurricane Safety Checklists

Hurricane Safety Checklists
Great Information from the American Red Cross shared by KS Bank.
Hurricane season runs until November 30, 2018.
Hurricane Safety Checklists
Store water in plastic containers such as soft drink bottles. Avoid using containers that will decompose or break, such as milk cartons or glass bottles. A normally active person needs to drink at least two quarts of water each day. Hot environments and intense physical activity can double that amount. Children, nursing mothers, and ill people will need more.
  • Store one gallon of water per person per day.
  • Keep at least a three-day supply of water per person (two quarts for drinking, two quarts for each person in your household for food preparation/sanitation).
Store at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food. Select foods that require no refrigeration, preparation or cooking, and little or no water. If you must heat food, pack a can of sterno. Select food items that are compact and lightweight. Include a selection of the following foods in your Disaster Supplies Kit:
  • Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables
  • Canned juices
  • Staples (salt, sugar, pepper, spices, etc.)
  • High energy foods
  • Vitamins
  • Food for infants
  • Comfort/stress foods
First Aid and Non-Prescription Drugs
First Aid Kit
Assemble a first aid kit for your home and one for each car.
  • (20) adhesive bandages, various sizes
  • (1) sterile dressing, various sizes
  • (1) conforming roller gauze bandage
  • (2) triangular bandages
  • (1) roll cohesive bandage.
  • (2) germicidal hand wipes or waterless alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • (6) antiseptic wipes
  • (2) pair large medical grade non-latex gloves
  • Adhesive tape
  • Anti-bacterial ointment
  • Cold pack
  • Scissors (small, personal)
  • Tweezers
  • CPR breathing barrier, such as a face shield
Non-Prescription Drugs
Tools and Supplies
  • Mess kits, or paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils
  • Emergency preparedness manual
  • Battery-operated radio and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries
  • Cash or traveler’s checks, change
  • Non-electric can opener, utility knife
  • Fire extinguisher: small canister ABC type
  • Tube tent
  • Pliers
  • Tape
  • Compass
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic storage containers
  • Signal flare
  • Paper, pencil
  • Needles, thread
  • Medicine dropper
  • Shut-off wrench, to turn off household gas and water
  • Whistle
  • Plastic sheeting
  • Map of the area (for locating shelters)
Sanitation, Clothing and Bedding
  • Toilet paper, towelettes
  • Soap, liquid detergent
  • Feminine supplies
  • Personal hygiene items
  • Plastic garbage bags, ties (for personal sanitation uses)
  • Plastic bucket with tight lid
  • Disinfectant
  • Household chlorine bleach
Clothing and Bedding
*Include at least one complete change of clothing and footwear per person.
  • Sturdy shoes or work boots
  • Rain gear
  • Blankets or sleeping bags
  • Hat and gloves
  • Thermal underwear
  • Sunglasses
Special Items
Remember family members with special requirements, such as infants and elderly or disabled persons.
For Baby
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Bottles
  • Powdered milk
  • Medications
For Adults
  • Heart and high blood pressure medication
  • Insulin
  • Prescription drugs
  • Denture needs
  • Contact lenses and supplies
  • Extra eye glasses
  • Board games and other games that don’t require batteries or electricity, books for adult readers and for children.
For Pets
In the interest of protecting pets, the Humane Society of the United States offers these tips for inclusion in your family disaster plan:
  • Do not leave your pets behind.
  • Securely fasten a current identification tag to your pet’s collar and carry a photograph of your pet. It’s important to include the phone number of a friend or family member on the tag so anyone who may find your pet is able to reach someone who knows you.
  • Transport pets in secure pet carriers and keep pets on leashes or harnesses.
  • Call hotels in a safe/host location and ask if you can bring your pets. Ask the manager if a no-pet policy can be lifted during the disaster. Most emergency shelters do not admit pets.
  • Call friends, family members, veterinarians or boarding kennels in a safe/host location to arrange foster care if you and your pets cannot stay together.
  • Pack a week’s supply of food, water and other provisions, such as medication or cat litter.
  • Do not wait until the last minute to evacuate. Rescue officials may not allow you to take your pets if you need to be rescued.
  • Keep a list of emergency phone numbers (veterinarian, local animal control, animal shelters, Red Cross, etc.).
Possessions and Documents
  • Keep these records in a waterproof, portable container:
    • Will, insurance policies, contracts, deeds, stocks and bonds
    • Passports, social security cards, immunization records
    • Bank account numbers
    • Credit card account numbers and companies
  • Inventory of valuable household goods, important telephone numbers
  • Family records (birth, marriage, death certificates)
  • Store your kit in a convenient place known to all family members. Keep a smaller version of the supplies kit in the trunk of your car.
  • Keep items in airtight plastic bags. Change your stored water supply every six months so it stays fresh. Replace your stored food every six months. Re-think your kit and family needs at least once a year. Replace batteries, update clothes, etc.
  • Ask your physician or pharmacist about storing prescription medications.
Source/Reference: American Red Cross
Business Checklist
Hurricane preparedness does not end at home. An often over-looked segment of hurricane safety is the workplace. Whether or not you are an employee or an employer, it is essential to take proactive steps in preparing for unpredictable storms and other disasters.
By taking the initiative to start planning early, you can create a plan that will have you fully prepared in the event of a disaster. While securing plans for your home and loved ones, take some time to focus on the future of your business or work place. Forty percent of small businesses that close due to hurricane damage do not reopen. In order to prevent your business from being another statistic, it is critical to prepare now.
To help, a Business Survival Plan has been compiled to serve as a comprehensive guide to safeguard your business. This Survival Plan provides steps to improve employee safety and protect property as well as important company information. It serves as an important tool to enforce your business’ emergency plan in the event of any disaster. Keep this plan handy by printing it out and ensure you have covered all the relevant steps before the Hurricane Season begins.
Using these three key steps as guidelines will ensure you are prepared for any damages following any disaster. Furthermore, you should decide on a back-up location where your business could run smoothly if damages occur on the original site and discuss this with all employees. If your business is damaged remember to assess, document, and report them to your insurance company as soon as possible.

 Step 1: Protect property

  • Invest in and install shutters or plywood in order to protect windows and doors from wind borne-debris.
  • Have the roof of your building evaluated to ensure it can withstand a storm.
  • Remove any branches or trees adjacent to your building that could potentially fall and damage it.
  • Sandbag any area that is subject to flooding.
  • Anchor and brace any large furniture (bookcases, shelves, filing cabinets) to wall studs.
  • Relocate any valuable or fragile possessions.
  • Secure all utilities including water heaters, gas tanks, and heaters and if necessary, raise them to higher locations to avoid water damages.
  • Secure electronics such as computers and other office equipment with straps or Velcro.
  • Turn off all the utilities prior to a hurricane making landfall if possible.
  • Designate important contacts to save that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, suppliers, etc.
  • Back-up documents that are not easily produced such as insurance documents, legal contracts, tax returns, and accounting statements to avoid water damage.
  • Seal these documents in waterproof containers onsite.
  • Save all your designated contacts and documents in an alternate, accessible off-site location.

Step 2: Protect important documents and information Step 3: Keep A Preparedness Checklist

The below items should be gathered in one location at your place of business should a storm hit while you are on premises. This will help protect the safety of your employees should disaster strike during regular working hours and without ample notice.
  • Battery operated radio or television
  • Non-perishable three day food supply for you and your employees
  • Three day supply of water for you and your employees (One gallon of water per person, per day)
  • Coolers and containers for water and washing
  • Blankets, pillows, cots, and chairs
  • First Aid Kit and first aid manual
  • Flashlights, batteries, light-sticks
  • Tool kit (basic tools, gloves, etc.)
  • Camera and film for documenting damages
  • Whistle/signal flare to signal for help
  • Tarps, plastic bags, duct tape
  • Cleaning supplies, including mops, towels and garbage cans
  • Smoke alarms and fire extinguishers
  • Electric generator
  • Gas for vehicles, generators and other equipment
  • Cash, ATM cards, credit cards proper identification
  • Emergency contact information such as the nearest hospital and police, along with:
    • Life safety issues: 9-1-1
    • Small Business Administration (SBA): 1-800-359-2227
    • FEMA Tele-registration hot-line: 1-800-462-9029
    • Insurance company and agent’s contact information
For more information about your business’ survival guide, download FEMA’s Business Toolkitor FEMA’s “Every Business Should Have a Plan” booklet for tips and further examples of steps you can take to prepare your business.

Acorn Festival 2018

Acorn Festival 2018

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with United Community Bank, hosted the 29th Annual Acorn Festival on September 8th.  The goal of this year’s festival was to offer more opportunities for local families and local businesses than ever before.  An additional vendor space was created in partnership with Johnston Health to offer the very first Acorn Festival Business Expo.  This addition doubled the amount of vendor opportunities for local businesses.  Other areas of the festival also experienced tremendous growth including offering carnival games and additional inflatables in the Huebner Family McDonald’s Kid Zone and a larger Car and Tractor showing than in year’s past in the OPW Retail Fueling Antique Car and Tractor Cruise In.  The festival also hosted a successful artisan market in the Barbour’s Grove Park along with live music throughout the day.

Amber England, Four Oaks Chamber Director, was pleased by the larger crowds than in year’s past.  “We worked to grow our festival this year so that we could bring larger crowds to the Four Oaks area.  This event is an important time for our local businesses to connect with the surrounding community.  Four Oaks businesses have so much to offer the community and this was a great time for local families to learn more about them.

In addition to the support of United Community Bank, the Acorn Festival is also made possible through the support of The Town of Four Oaks, the Johnston County Visitors Bureau, Country Superstars 102.3, Huebner Family McDonald’s, OPW Retail Fueling, and Johnston Health.

Hwy 55 Recognized as September Business of the Month

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce is celebrating Hwy 55 as September’s Business of the Month. Hwy 55 was nominated for Business of the Month in recognition of their contributions to the Four Oaks community.  Hwy 55 opened in Four Oaks in the summer of 2017 and have recently celebrated their one-year anniversary.  The restaurant prides itself on the many ways it recognizes the local community through their Discount Days.  Each Monday local heroes are given 15% off their meal.  This discount applies to Teachers, Public Safety Officers, and Emergency Personnel.  Every Tuesday is Kid’s Night where children 12 and under receive 50% off their meal and a free custard from 5-9pm.  On Sunday’s people can enjoy 10% off their meal all day by bringing in their church bulletin.  The restaurant also offers fundraising opportunities to local charitable organizations.

“We enjoy an ongoing relationship with the Four Oaks American Legion Post to support their pancake breakfast fundraising efforts.  This is an opportunity we are able to extend to other local organizations looking for a unique fundraising opportunity here in the Four Oaks community”, shares Kenneth Williams, Operator.

The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce is honored to recognize the lasting contributions made to the Four Oaks community by Hwy 55.  The Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce will recognize one member business each month.  Nominations can be made at the Four Oaks Chamber of Commerce website,